I've been anxious to share this post with you. Scrolling through these pictures have me missing the beautiful Building 25 and all the lovely people that work in it. I've always dreamed of Free People. Dreamed of working with such an inspirational company. On April 25th I received the best email from Jessica inviting me to the Free People Home Offices on May 14th. The emailed announced that they loved my FP Me pics and wanted me to come visit the Home Offices, get the Free People experience, and participate in a fashion show. I jumped, danced, screamed, and cried. About 15 minutes later, after I had calmed down (a little) I called Jessica and RSVP'd a big YES.
My arrival to Building 25 was surreal. I remember everything about it. The smell, the smiles, the way light went through the windows in the front lobby, and of course, the most fashionable people I have ever seen. I was so happy. Amanda Sanft, a beautiful new friend, was also invited to the offices for the same experience. Jessica took us around the URBN campus and introduced us to tons of people. It is a fun feeling being introduced to people that you feel like you already know through their personal blogs. Meeting the girls of BLDG 25's blog team was so exciting for me. Every morning while I eat my cereal, I'm scrolling through the BLDG 25 Blog reading the posts the girls write with envy. Jessica had a bunch of fun activities planned for us that day. We went into a building within URBN campus that had the "cafeteria", coffee shop, and fitness center. We learned how to juice, ate the MOST AMAZING food ever in the "cafeteria", and later went and made flower crowns. I am putting cafeteria in parentheses because that would be one of the last words I would use to describe it. All of the food is prepared fresh and the options are endless. Pizza, sushi, about 10 different quinoa salads, so many stations.... I could go on forever (and I think I will)... cookies WITH SEA SALT, rice krispy treats the size of my head, and the best selection of teas ever. Amanda and I feasted.
Ok. So after lunch came a fitting for the all company fashion show. Amanda and I got to explore and play dress up in a little piece of heaven. Jessica took us over to the stylists studio area where they let us pick a look to walk in, look at all the clothes that models are styled with for shoots, see the hair and makeup station. It was incredible standing in a room where the magazines that I wait for monthly are styled and shot. I would choose to go back to that room and explore over a tropical vacation, I swear. We finished the day with a FP Me photo shoot at the Free People Walnut store with the beautiful FP blogger Jana from Wolf and Willow, went to dinner at a cute little place called Dandelion, and then went to a house in the Navy Yard for bed. The house is called Quarters O, and is where guests stay while visiting URBN's campus. It is a beautiful white house on the river just walking distance from campus. The house was airy and clean. The decor was beautiful. The fridge was stocked- and the cookie jar... with those addicting cookies again. I ate 3 that night. Amanda and I couldn't get enough.
I slept wonderfully, woke up to a yoga instructor doing a morning stretch with us, and prepared for the big day. The all company meeting brought lovely girls from FP stores around Philly and NY. They all flew in and we gathered at the meeting table in style. The girls each had creative looks and beautiful personalities. Meg Hayne came and talked to us about the company, what sparks her creativity, and visions. She floats. Her grace and kindness radiates and the room lit up throughout her discussion with our group.
We later were fitted, practiced our walk, and lined up. The all company meeting involved 200+ people and was set up in the main lobby. After the talks, Meg surprised the audience with news that she had teamed up with Jessica for this Free People fashion show. I was the first to walk. I strutted down the steps in front of the audience with butterflies in my stomach. I was wearing a shift dress, my New Romantics Carnival Jacket, and of course my polaroid camera around my neck. I snapped a picture of the audience halfway down and continued my walk. Once I reached the end I sprinted upstairs to change into my second look. I closed the show in the FP ONE Bralette and FP ONE Ribbon Corset Maxi..and heels.
Saying goodbye to the Free People Offices was so hard for me. I never wanted to leave. It felt like home. I will forever appreciate each and every person I met there, the inspiration they gave me, and hope to one day return. Longest blog post ever, but I will cherish these pictures and words forever.
Hope you have a wonderful Monday.
Photos by: Me, FP Jana, FP Naomi